This is a highly enjoyable short walk along the River Swale to Easby Abbey. The route follows the Old Railway to a bridge over the River Swale before returning along a riverside path. Following the walk spend some time in Richmond, its shops, pubs and impressive castle.
The route from the start of the walk at the swimming pool is fully accessible. I was recently joined by Debbie North and the TGA Minipro motorised wheelchair and it was a doddle to get the 1 1/2 miles to Easby Abbey. The path initially follow the Old Railway through woodland to a bridge over the River Swale. From here the wide track bends to the right and heads north in to the grounds of the abbey. Those who wish can return by the same route, those who are happy to follow the footpath back to Richmond and complete a circular walk as well.
Easby Abbey is Premonstratensian (I think that is spelt correctly!) which is the religion of the French Catholic order of the 12th century. However it was good old English soldiers who largely destroyed it during their stay on route to the Battle of Neville’s Cross in 1346. Unlike other abbeys it was left to fall in to disrepair and now has little to remind of the once impressive working abbey it once was. It is easy to wander through the ruins
The stretch of river bank linking Richmond with Easby Abbey a very easy stroll. However it does not take much to notice how the powerful River Swale is a deep brown colour. This is derived from the peat and moors further up the dale. In fact the power of the river was such that strenuous efforts had to be made to ensure Easby Abbey did not disappear to the river a few years ago. Have a look at how it has cut in to the bank near the abbey ruins.
However I coupled the walk along the River Swale to Easby Abbey with a visit to the very impressive Richmond Castle. This is one of the best examples of a Norman fort in England today.
The swimming pool to the south of the river which offers the best place to start the walk and in fact explore Richmond as well. Any route following an old railway line is always straightforward and easy, this one particularly pleasant when the trees are in bloom or their autumnal colours.
Access the Dales is a charity which helps those with disabilities access the countryside. In particular the charity has set up a number (7 at last count) of wheelchair hubs throughout the Yorkshire Dales. Here anyone can borrow the wheelchair from the host and take it out for a few hours. It enables those who are unable to get out in to the countryside to do so which is surely a good objective.
One of our ‘hubs’ is at the swimming pool in Richmond and this walk is now achievable for may who were previously unable to.
Find out more about Access the Dales here and the location of the other hubs.
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